by Mike Berger/editor-Northeast
One constant at C&S Wholesale Grocers’ fall and spring trade shows is Tracy Moore. For nearly 25 years she has been a consistent, dependable force behind the rise of C&S. And it’s why she is The Griffin Report of the Northeast’s 2017 Woman Executive of the Year.
As SVP of non-perishable procurement, merchandising/marketing and supply chain/trade relations, she is responsible for the continued development and support of the non-perishable procurement team and for providing quality service to C&S retail customers. She also is responsible for service level performance, inventory management, trade relations, margin performance, merchandising and marketing deliverables.
“Tracy Moore has been an incredible asset to C&S for more than 25 years,” said Bob Palmer, EVP of sales and chief procurement officer. “She has contributed extensively to the growth of our business by playing a key role in our procurement operation, driving business startups and aligning successful trade relations go-to-market strategies. In addition to her significant contributions to our business, she also gives all of herself to her team, to the community and to the industry through her development and mentoring of emerging leaders, her service as a current board member for C&S Charities, and her esteemed role as director emeritus for the Northeast Wholesale Food Distributors Association, for which she served as chairperson from 2004-08.”
Palmer added, “It is a little-known fact that Tracy’s relationship with C&S extends back well beyond her 25 years of employment. She worked part-time for C&S while attending high school, was a customer of C&S when she worked for Finast, and she sold leased vehicles to C&S while working for Ford. C&S has been benefiting from Tracy’s influence for many years, and we look forward to the many years to come. This honor is more than well-deserved. Congratulations, Tracy!”
Prior to joining C&S in 1992, Moore worked for five years as a front-end manager and deli manager at Finast Grocery Store. Following that, she spent five years in car sales, as Palmer noted.
Moore’s first job at C&S was as an associate buyer. After one year, she was promoted to buyer. Rapid promotions were the result of her acumen, focus and commitment to making C&S a best-in-class organization. From 1999-2005 she was VP of grocery procurement and from 2005-08, she served as VP of merchandising/marketing and supply chain/trade relations. In 2008, she was promoted to SVP for merchandising and in 2014 was promoted to SVP for procurement, merchandising/marketing and supply chain/trade relations.
Moore holds an associate’s degree in business from Greenfield Community College.
She offered the following comments on her career at C&S and her job.
Can you give us a summary of your job responsibilities?
I lead the non-perishable procurement organization with a primary goal of providing quality service to our retail customers. I am responsible for the fill rate performance, inventory management, manufacturer partnerships, margin performance, and the merchandising and marketing deliverables.
What are typical workdays like for you?
Well, I am at work at 5:30 a.m. and leave by 5:30 p.m., but that is probably not typical. In my opinion, a key factor in the success of C&S is that we are not typical, and that is one of the reasons I have been here for 25 years. I was recently in a lunch with new employees and was asked a similar question. I explained that C&S is like an Etch-a-Sketch; I come in and “etch” or problem-solve my way through the day, and whether it was a good or bad day, I shake it up the next morning and start over. Where else could I do that?
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Both challenging and refreshing is the ever-changing environment, whether that is deflationary pressures, industry consolidation or how my role constantly shifts between strategic planning, personnel development and execution.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
There are many rewarding aspects, but the people I work with have the biggest impact on me. I truly appreciate our team—their support, their dedication and the can-do attitude that is intrinsic to the C&S DNA. It is incredibly rewarding to be empowered to influence growth, development and change at C&S.
Do you have any special work mentors you would like to mention and why?
A mentor to me means a coach, guide, tutor, facilitator and trusted advisor. To mention a few, Rick Cohen—C&S’s chairman and CEO—for his vision; Bob Palmer—C&S’s EVP, sales and chief procurement officer—for his expectations, and so many of the people on my team who provide me with coaching and loyalty that I know I would not find anywhere else.
What have you found at C&S that has led to you staying for so many years?
C&S is an environment in which I can make a difference and be able to pay it forward. I serve on the board of directors for C&S Charities and am able to see C&S’s commitment to the community firsthand. Over the last five years alone our charity golf outing has raised more than $7.8 million for child hunger and pediatric cancer organizations. The company’s philanthropic initiatives provide for our communities in many ways. As an example, in 2016, C&S donated the equivalent of 13 million meals to food banks. I am deeply proud to be a part of this culture of giving and do my best to encourage others to provide their support as well.
Additionally, I am involved in the company’s charitable initiatives such as the annual Food for Kids Drive; I am proud to say that our employees donated 26,000 pounds of food to local food banks and community kitchens last year.
What are your thoughts about your customers in 2017? What do you see as constant challenges and how do you help them?
The challenges that our customers continue to face are related to responding to rapid changes in supply chain, understanding generational shifts, and adapting the shift from traditional brick-and-mortar markets.
C&S works closely with each customer individually to understand their challenges and needs and apply innovative solutions. Our goal is to keep improving the supply chain to facilitate their required growth.
Any other information you would like to share?
I am often asked about my leadership philosophy. I want to lead and partner with integrity, meaning that I focus on strong communication, saying what I will do and doing what I say; talent development; and exhibiting a work ethic.
The second question that I am routinely asked is how I manage work/life balance. First and most important, I couldn’t do it without my husband of 26 years. He has always been my sounding board; he challenges me with his opinions and grounds me to help me keep my balance.
The love of my friends, family and my two Yorkies—Kodiak and Bruin—make everything worth it.